Conflict resolution; leave the children out

A  certain lady got into an altercation with her husband, apparently over infidelity. Today, infidelity or not, the focus is on the fact that the woman of the home walked to the husband’s car and vandalised it out of rage. As she did this, the husband pulled out a phone and started filming. All the while the wife was yelling and screaming. At some point a baby can be heard speaking to the person holding the camera, capturing the whole scene, he responds to the baby saying ‘mummy is beating the car’ and that ‘mummy is mad’. That is where war starts; of the two adults involved in this movie who is more evil and irresponsible than the other; is it the one who is vandalising the car or the one ensuring the child does not miss out on the spectacle? Is it the one telling a child that the mother is mad?

A lot of homes are violent; whether physical or psychological violence exists and it eats up on the family unit. When meted upon an adult it will find a way of affecting the child. Once while watching a wedding show on TV, the day’s preacher who was female, advised the newlyweds about conflict resolution. She reckoned it was bound to occur and the best thing to do was be prepared for it and strategise on how best to deal with it. First step was ensuring both parties are involved in trying to resolve issues affecting their union; she discouraged calling relatives and church elders the minute there was a sign of trouble. Her second point was making sure outsiders are only brought in if the two have completely failed to settle issues.

 

Third and most important was ‘do not let your children witness fights and misunderstandings between the two of you,’ I know a lot of married couples that would let that slide yet it is as important as life itself. A child starts noticing and understanding things at the age of three, they can tell when mummy is crying and daddy is shouting. They get restless and cry when they notice the parents are gloomy, they will even come in between two parents who are fighting and try to separate them. Some of these images do not leave a child’s memory. There are parents that assume the kid will not get what is going on, or that they will forget the incident which is never the case.

 

As they grow older it becomes worse. An innocent joke about one’s parent could have a negative impact on the child. When a parent walks out of the house carrying a child and starts filming a parent who is fighting, vandalising property or drunk on the ground, their intention could be to embarrass this parent or make the child see how gross one half gets at times, that could work but unfortunately with a devastating impact to the young mind. Is it possible to have those fights away from the prying eyes of children? Absolutely! Practice it. 

 

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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